Busy Day for Medicare and Medicaid Fraud
When it comes to Medicare and Medicaid fraud, the government isn’t just going after doctors and hospitals — it’s going after patients as well.
Just take the case of dialysis patient Keisha Regusters, 38, of Philadelphia. She pleaded guilty today to a fraud scheme where she allowed Brotherly Love Ambulance Inc. to drive her to dialysis treatments even though she could walk and get there by other means. She took the rides and Brotherly Love charged Medicare — then provided Regusters monthly kickbacks, the the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.
The result was $52,000 in inappropriate bills (part of a larger scheme by Bortherly Love to improperly bill $4.9 million to Medicare.) In November 2014, Brotherly Love Owner Feda Kuran was sentenced to 64 months in prison. Regusters faces six to 12 months.
But that was hardly the only news on the fraud front today. Five locals were arrested and charged with Medicaid fraud, according to the Attorney General Kathleen Kane‘s office. Here’s more from a statement:
Aeisha Rohman, 38, 4648 N. Palenthorp St., Philadelphia, turned herself in April 24 to authorities in Dauphin County. She is charged with four counts of Medicaid fraud, 43 counts of tampering with public records and one count each of theft by deception and conspiracy to commit theft by deception. Rohman submitted timesheets to Medicare and Medicaid alleging she provided home health services to the same individual on overlapping dates and times, investigators reported. Additionally, she allegedly submitted timesheets to Medicare and Medicaid for providing home health services to two different individuals at the same time. All told, the alleged fraud resulted in roughly $7,500 being paid. Rohman was released on $10,000 unsecured bail after a preliminary arraignment. A preliminary hearing is tentatively scheduled for May 29.
Serena Gibson, 25, 452 Christian St., Philadelphia, was arrested April 27 and charged with four counts of Medicaid fraud, three counts of theft by deception and one count of receiving stolen property. The charges were filed in Philadelphia. Gibson was employed as a Behavioral Health Specialist for Supportive Behavioral Resources. SBR reported to the Office of Attorney General that Gibson was not performing her duties as she reported on her timesheets. The total amount of fraud is approximately $1,100. Gibson was released on her own recognizance after a preliminary arraignment. She is tentatively scheduled to appear May 18 for a preliminary hearing.
Melissa Littlejohn and Donnell Gales, 35 and 47, 4017 Ogden St., Philadelphia, were arrested April 28 and charged with one count each of Medicaid fraud, theft by deception and receiving stolen property. The charges were filed in Philadelphia. Littlejohn was to provide attendant care services to consumer Gales, her husband. The Office of Attorney General received information that Littlejohn was billing for services not rendered to Gales. Documentation also indicated that Littlejohn was providing care for multiple consumers at the same dates and times, which created overlaps between multiple consumers. The alleged crimes resulted in a total fraud of approximately $99,000. Littlejohn and Gales were both released on their own recognizance following preliminary arraignments. They are tentatively scheduled to appear May 14 for preliminary hearings.
Billie May Passarella, 80, 92 South Gov. Printz Blvd., Lester, Delaware County, was arrested April 30 and charged with four counts of Medicaid fraud, three counts of theft by deception and one count of receiving stolen property. Passarella was employed as an attendant for Liberty Resources Inc. to provide services to a client. Passarella billed for home attendant care services during times that the client was hospitalized. The fraudulent conduct resulted in approximately $6,400 being paid to Passarella, investigators allege. Her bail was set at $5,000 unsecured at a preliminary arraignment. She is tentatively scheduled to appear May 11 for a preliminary hearing.